Domestic violence and intimate partner violence can be defined as “a pattern of abusive behaviors–including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion–used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship.” 

It can happen to anyone — men and women, young and old. Victims often feel powerless to do or say anything to get out of the position they’re in. If someone speaks to you about it, believe them and help them. Check out our post “5 Ways You Can Help Victims of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence” to learn more ways you can help someone in need.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). DVAM is an annual campaign originally founded to connect advocates focused on ending violence against women and children. First observed in 1987, the campaign has evolved from a one-day observance to the whole month of October. 

While its activities and events vary across the nation, DVAM focuses on 3 themes:

  • Mourning those who have died because of domestic and/or intimate partner violence
  • Celebrating those who have survived
  • Connecting those who work to end violence

This year, the National Resource Center for Domestic Violence’s DVAM campaign is #1Thing. Change can start with only one small thing; while your actions may not seem significant, a community united against domestic violence will cause change. Each of us has a role to play in helping prevent domestic violence, whether it’s intervening, being a safe place for a friend in need, or helping a friend get out of an abusive relationship. What’s your #1Thing?

Check out their website to see how you can stand up against domestic violence this month and be the #1Thing in your community.